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Old 06-18-2017, 08:24 PM   #1
ntamas
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Question Kindle store anomalies?

Hi! Recently, I've just downloaded a book sample because I was going to buy it later. After a few weeks it has been deleted from the Kindle Store. When I go to the Buy Now option in Kindle Keyboard it says: I'm not entitled to buy this content. (due to copyright restrictions?!)

Why does Amazon do this? Can you buy certain ebooks from Kindle Store for only some time? Why?

How can this be explained by copyright restrictions? As far as I know ebooks can't have been sold out like real books.

Does it mean that the collaboration between Amazon and the author won't work any more?

Second issue:

There are many ebooks being only available for customers with US billing address. Why? It's strange because it doesn't necessarily mean that the author is from the United States at all.

Third issue:

Even if the ebooks are available for both the Americans and the Europeans, the prices are different for the exact same ebook. WHY?!
I doubt if this could be explained by copyright restrictions again because there are no reasonable explanations on why the exact same ebook costs more for those with European billing address than for those with US billing address?
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Old 06-18-2017, 08:51 PM   #2
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1. It could be geographic restrictions.
2. Amazon can pull books for violations of copyright and/or trademark.
An author in Select has to keep the book available for 90 days. Authors not in Select can pull their books at any time.
3. Geographic restrictions.
4. Just the way it is and VAT.
Do know the US price you see is before taxes. UK, the price you see is the price you pay.
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Old 06-18-2017, 08:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntamas View Post
Hi! Recently, I've just downloaded a book sample because I was going to buy it later. After a few weeks it has been deleted from the Kindle Store. When I go to the Buy Now option in Kindle Keyboard it says: I'm not entitled to buy this content. (due to copyright restrictions?!)

Why does Amazon do this? Can you buy certain ebooks from Kindle Store for only some time? Why?

How can this be explained by copyright restrictions? As far as I know ebooks can't have been sold out like real books.

Does it mean that the collaboration between Amazon and the author won't work any more?

Second issue:

There are many ebooks being only available for customers with US billing address. Why? It's strange because it doesn't necessarily mean that the author is from the United States at all.

Third issue:

Even if the ebooks are available for both the Americans and the Europeans, the prices are different for the exact same ebook. WHY?!
I doubt if this could be explained by copyright restrictions again because there are no reasonable explanations on why the exact same ebook costs more for those with European billing address than for those with US billing address?
1) Downloaded the book sample to what?
Did you download to the kindle keyboard that you could not later buy it?
Or did you download it to a different model kindle or to something other than the same kindle you tried to buy it from?
Did it actually say: "copyright restrictions"?
Otherwise the book just might not be available in a format that the Kindle Keyboard can display. (The samples need not be the same format as the actual book.)

Consider this:
Amazon will allow book samples to be downloaded by anyone/anything that can connect to their site.
There is no requirement to have an Amazon account for book samples.
Thus there can not be any account data lookup, because there might not be an account.
Not having an account means they can't tell if any geographic restrictions are met. IP geo-location is not reliable enough for such purposes.
If you like the sample of the book enough to buy it, you might even open an account to buy it if you don't already have one.
Awkward programming things that way, but easier to upsale the potential customer into opening an account once they have a book sample they like "in their hands" as it where.
So this one you can blame on the marketing department.

2) This one would have to be judged on a book-by-book case.
But the person who owns the publication rights usually can choose where they want it published.
The choice of where it can be published might have been separated from the right to publish.
So to answer this one, you would have to start by contacting the author (or other current owner of the copyright) and find out who, if anyone, has the right to decide.
Knowing that, you would then know who to ask why.

3-a) Because the (hidden) costs may not the same.
3-b) Because the owner of the publication rights wants it that way.

Last edited by knc1; 06-18-2017 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 06-18-2017, 10:36 PM   #4
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Geographic restrictions?!

Those restrictions can't be reasonable in case of ebooks. I'm sure they must be intentional. Because it sounds as though someone had some problem with their internet connection. It seems as though the accessibility of the files depended on the place where I download them from. Weird.

Quote:
An author in Select has to keep the book available for 90 days.
And what will happen after the 90 days?

Quote:
the US price you see is before taxes. UK, the price you see is the price you pay.
Yes I know. The US price has to be increased by approx. 6.75% to get the real price. But it is very common that the price is still lower than the European ones with VAT. LOL

Quote:
Did you download to the kindle keyboard that you could not later buy it?
I have downloaded it to the Keyboard via wifi. I can open the sample and it works but if I open the menu for that item with the arrow pointing to the right and click on Buy This Book Now then it writes this:

This title is not available for you.

Due to copyright restrictions, the Kindle title you're trying to purchase is not available in your country.
(The country is US in the store settings)

Earlier it can only be purchased with US accounts.

If I do the same thing in Paperwhite (I mean clicking or tapping on Buy now) it simply gets me back to the book description where it says: currently unavailable.

Quote:
Or did you download it to a different model kindle or to something other than the same kindle you tried to buy it from?
No, definitely not. I have downloaded it to Keyboard and I wanted to buy it later on the same Keyboard of course.

Quote:
Otherwise the book just might not be available in a format that the Kindle Keyboard can display. (The samples need not be the same format as the actual book.)
If this was true, then the Amazon product page on the web wouldn't write in the upper right corner this:

This title is not currently available for purchase

You can't even see the availability list now. There was but now there is no more.

Quote:
There is no requirement to have an Amazon account for book samples.
Are you absolutely sure about that? I didn't manage to download any samples without signing in.

Quote:
Thus there can not be any account data lookup, because there might not be an account.
I agree that the sample and the complete work can be different. The samples won't even appear in your Kindle Library. BUT, somehow samples contain information on which book it is about because otherwise you wouldn't be able to open the book description at all. And the book description is about the complete work not about the sample.

Quote:
the person who owns the publication rights usually can choose where they want it published.
Sometimes they want you not to be able to buy it at all on any of the Amazon sites. They should send a message about the status of an ebook globally. I mean if it is only available to the US customers or becoming only available to them, then a message should provide info about that. The same goes to global restricted works, the UK only stuffs etc..

This type of information is still missing. If they just simply tell you that the book is not currently available that's not enough. And as a customer you'll become more and more doubtful. Can I buy it another time? Can I buy it at all in the future? If so, where can I buy it on which site? How long will it be available? Is there a substitution item instead of that? Maybe the same title but newer version? etc..

Quote:
So to answer this one, you would have to start by contacting the author (or other current owner of the copyright) and find out who, if anyone, has the right to decide.
It sounds very complicated.

Quote:
Because the owner of the publication rights wants it that way.
Well, it's somewhat unfair policy and not reasonable at all.

Then is it considered to be a fraud if I login to my US account (instead of my European) to pay much less for ebooks? LOL

Isn't it a discriminatory practice to charge European customers at higher prices for ebooks? Why should I pay more just because I'm European?
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:51 PM   #5
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Yes, there are geographic restrictions. The author or publisher can decide which countries they sell too.

On the authors in select after 90 days, they can choose to renew Select for 90 days, just stay selling on Amazon or take their books down.

I have to pay 8.25% in taxes.

It is perfectly legal to charge different prices in different locations.
Let me give you a non-ebook example. Where I live canned vegetables run about 67 cents. If I go about 300 miles/482 km then the price goes up to about $1 a can. This is in the same state.
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntamas View Post
Hi! Recently, I've just downloaded a book sample because I was going to buy it later. After a few weeks it has been deleted from the Kindle Store. When I go to the Buy Now option in Kindle Keyboard it says: I'm not entitled to buy this content. (due to copyright restrictions?!)

Why does Amazon do this? Can you buy certain ebooks from Kindle Store for only some time? Why?
The main reasons I can think of are a) the book was being offered by someone other than the copyright holder (in other words pirated), b) the author or publisher pulled it from sale for some reason, c) Amazon temporarily pulled it due to formatting problems which they've told the author/publisher to fix (there will be a message on the books page when they do this).


Quote:
How can this be explained by copyright restrictions? As far as I know ebooks can't have been sold out like real books.
Copyright restrictions can mean a few things (see below), but has nothing to do with something being sold out.



Quote:
There are many ebooks being only available for customers with US billing address. Why? It's strange because it doesn't necessarily mean that the author is from the United States at all.
It has nothing to do with where the author is from. For self-published works it happens less frequently than traditionally published stuff, but when an author licenses their work to a publisher to sell it often limits those rights to certain geographic areas. This allows the author to license the same work(s) to local publishers in other regions as well. So the same book might have different publishers in the UK, US and Canada, etc. and those publishers are only authorized to offer the book for sale where they've contracted a licence. Sometimes an author will license to one publisher for worldwide rights, but that is still rare unless it's an older backlist title only being put out as an ebook and possible print on demand. Some authors self-publish in some markets while having contracts with a publisher in other markets.



Quote:
Even if the ebooks are available for both the Americans and the Europeans, the prices are different for the exact same ebook. WHY?!
I doubt if this could be explained by copyright restrictions again because there are no reasonable explanations on why the exact same ebook costs more for those with European billing address than for those with US billing address?
Again a lot of times (not always) it is due to different publishers (or different regional arms of the same publisher) having the license and them pricing a book based on what they feel is right for their regional market. Cheaper for the US isn't always the case either. Sometimes a title is cheaper in the UK for example. Some markets have additional taxes added to ebooks that retailers like Amazon are required to collect on the governments behalf. Not sure if it's still the case as they were working on changing it I think, but many (all?) markets in the EU have 20% or so VAT added to ebook prices and that is included in the shown price, while US buyers sales tax is not shown in the US price.
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:09 AM   #7
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@ntamas. Don't expect geographic restrictions and pricing to make sense. We are in a period where the old models for distribution of physical books amongst many geographical regions are sought to be applied to the distribution of ebooks to what is physically one worldwide online market. Various methods are being applied (imperfectly) to try to re-create in the online world the effects of real physical barriers (eg; oceans, mountains) in the physical world. The result is an inconsistent, illogical mess.

You have me curious. If you have no objection please post the link to the book you are trying to purchase.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:42 AM   #8
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Yes, there are geographic restrictions. The author or publisher can decide which countries they sell too.
OK, I see now. But it is not a technical restriction but it is rather because of the publisher's policy.

And just a question: Can the Amazon itself decide it too?

Quote:
It is perfectly legal to charge different prices in different locations.
Of course it is, but it is not ethical. Though as I said there is a workaround here.

Quote:
Where I live canned vegetables run about 67 cents. If I go about 300 miles/482 km then the price goes up to about $1 a can. This is in the same state.
But that is not a good example because of the regional differences between wages, salaries, local government regulations, price control of supermarkets etc..

Quote:
The main reasons I can think of are ...
Well, I think your b) version is most likely cause of this problem.

AnemicOak: I understand your reasoning. It's clear now.

Quote:
Cheaper for the US isn't always the case either.
Yes, I know. I just experienced it quite often.

Quote:
Some markets have additional taxes added to ebooks that retailers like Amazon are required to collect on the governments behalf.
OK, it makes sense and helps me to explain a bit Cinisajoy's canned vegetables example.

Quote:
many (all?) markets in the EU have 20% or so VAT added to ebook prices
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VAT_in_EU#VAT_rates

Ours is 27% for ebooks and 5% for paperbooks.

I have no objections, here it is:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019WRMF7M...=2XT07AHE6RH5T
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Old 06-19-2017, 09:22 AM   #9
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Geographic restrictions?!

Those restrictions can't be reasonable in case of ebooks. I'm sure they must be intentional. Because it sounds as though someone had some problem with their internet connection. It seems as though the accessibility of the files depended on the place where I download them from. Weird.
"Reasonable" is not a part of defining the duties, taxes, fees, import/export charges, etc.

Your argument is with your legislators (or local dictator, or remote presidium or whatever Hungary has at the moment for a government), not with Amazon or anyone here.
If your legislators are elected, then don't re-elect them.

Take your unanswerable questions about the 'fairness of life' to the "rage and rant" forum.
Life is not fair, but that forum does hold such discussions just the same.

Last edited by knc1; 06-19-2017 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:26 AM   #10
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Where I live canned vegetables run about 67 cents. If I go about 300 miles/482 km then the price goes up to about $1 a can. This is in the same state.
But that is not a good example because of the regional differences between wages, salaries, local government regulations, price control of supermarkets etc..
That was the same supermarket chain.
Actually the canned good example is perfect for the very reasons you mentioned it wasn't.
Different wages, government regulations, cost of living, and when you get into the worldwide market you also get exchange rates.

Note: this is for self-published.
Now I don't know if Amazon has changed their payment policy, but at first authors got paid in the currency of the Amazon store. Example US was dollars, UK was pounds, and so forth and so on.
So the author would have to find an international bank and pay the exchange fees to cash said checks.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:34 AM   #11
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Oh, I am in the US and I got the same answer. Not available.
I spotted the problem immediately. It is not your country.
It is the author violated copyright.
This means he used some stuff that he wasn't supposed to, or someone claimed he did so Amazon pulled the book for 30 days until the issue is resolved.
So you might try again in about a month. In that case, you will probably be able to buy the book or get page not found. (Page not found means the author did do something wrong or just didn't acknowledge the problem.)
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:50 AM   #12
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Of course it is, but it is not ethical. Though as I said there is a workaround here.
It's perfectly ethical. Why shouldn't stakeholders in a book maximize their profits by using entirely legal methods of price discrimination? It's not even as if ebooks are a necessity.

I think the ethical aspect comes into play with those who exercise the workaround you mention (with the exception, of course, of Australia and any other jurisdiction where the workaround are legal). A book can be someone's livelihood; he's not obligated to sell it to you at the price you want to pay.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:21 PM   #13
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Oh, I am in the US and I got the same answer.
Or it might be that you should have a UK account to buy it.

Quote:
he used some stuff that he wasn't supposed to, or someone claimed he did so Amazon pulled the book for 30 days until the issue is resolved.
How can you be so sure about that?

AnemicOak said the most likely reason for that:

b) the author or publisher pulled it from sale for some reason

Quote:
he's not obligated to sell it to you at the price you want to pay.
OK, but that's the smaller problem, the bigger is that I can't even buy ebooks at all just because I don't have US address.

Or another example I did use that workaround because I wanted to try the Kindle Active Content. So it was not about the fact I didn't want to pay at all. But they didn't give me a chance to pay for it. As if I didn't deserve the contents that are only available for US customers just because I'm European. It's discriminative.
From the customers' point of view it doesn't matter at all why the ebook or the content is not available if they can see that others are allowed to buy stuff like that. And I very often encounter this problem.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:39 PM   #14
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Active content is on its way out.
So finding that its distribution is being limited should not be a surprise.

Already the 8th. generation devices no longer support it (which is why they have to use the booklet form of KUAL - our universal launcher).

It is assumed that the 'booklet form' will not be discontinued any time soon, the main screen on your kindle is a booklet. Amazon does not support independent development of active booklet content (although we (the dev forum) do).

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Old 06-19-2017, 07:46 PM   #15
Cinisajoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntamas View Post
Or it might be that you should have a UK account to buy it.



How can you be so sure about that?

AnemicOak said the most likely reason for that:

b) the author or publisher pulled it from sale for some reason



OK, but that's the smaller problem, the bigger is that I can't even buy ebooks at all just because I don't have US address.

Or another example I did use that workaround because I wanted to try the Kindle Active Content. So it was not about the fact I didn't want to pay at all. But they didn't give me a chance to pay for it. As if I didn't deserve the contents that are only available for US customers just because I'm European. It's discriminative.
From the customers' point of view it doesn't matter at all why the ebook or the content is not available if they can see that others are allowed to buy stuff like that. And I very often encounter this problem.
You said something about copyright restrictions in your first post. I looked at the cover and reviews. Both screamed "did the author get the proper permissions for all images".

So are you saying that you can't buy any books from Amazon?

Perhaps they blocked you because of your work around. They can do that since it violates their EULA and terms and conditions.
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